Pullers of Virginia
Henry Hines, Sr. GEDCOM
Coweta County, GA
National Weather Service
B.S. Atmospheric Science
American Radio Relay League
Daughters of the
Pullers of Virginia
The Old Dominion has been home to Pullers for hundreds of years, and there are still more Pullers living in Virginia than in any other state. This page is a compilation of scattered bits of information I have gathered on Virginia's Pullers of the past. The purpose of the page is to provide information to other Puller researchers, and hopefully to make contacts that are mutually beneficial for our research. My Puller ancestors were from Caroline County, Virginia.
Please check back periodically... this page is a work in progress.
Possible Ancestry of Thomas Goldwyn/Golden Puller (chart), from correspondence with Benjamin T. Sharp (used by permission):
The first record that I found of Pullers in Virginia was that of John Puller, who was a headright of John Sharp, in a patent for 300 acres in Lancaster County, on the South side of the Rapahannock, in 1652. Since that part of Lancaster County became Middlesex County, it is reasonable to assume that the early Pullers were residents of that County. They may have moved from there into Gloucester County since I found no further record of them until the middle of the 18th Century, when the names of James and Ann Puller appeared in the Vestry Book of Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County. At about the same period, John Puller appeared in Caroline County. It is my guess that John and James were brothers and that John migrated to Caroline from Petsworth Parish in Gloucester County. The tax records for Gloucester County showed that Pullers continued to live in Petsworth Parish through the middle of the 19th Century. Samuel D. Puller, the ancestor of Lewis B. Puller, was clearly of the Gloucester line.
Tax records show that there were also Goalders (Goulders) living in Petsworth Parish about the middle of the 18th Century. It is believed that John Puller, who moved to Caroline County, married Mary Goulder. Caroline County records made several references to John and Mary Puller both before and after the Revolution. One of their sons was John Puller of Culpeper County, who married Ann Walden, and became quite wealthy. In his will, recorded in Culpeper County in 1818, he named the following brothers and sisters: Goulder, James, Catherine, Letitia and Margaret.
Apparently Goulder Puller, who married Elizabeth Broaddus, was the eldest as he inherited the farm in Caroline. Goulder had the following children: Thomas Broaddus, William Dandridge and Catherine (these are the Pullers in my line). James, apparently was the father of Thomas Puller, who married Sally Broaddus (these are the Pullers in your line). Surprizingly, both Thomas Broaddus Puller, who married Lucy Ann Sale, and Thomas Puller, who married Sally Broaddus, bought land in King William County and moved there about 1820. This may have been a result of the inheritance they received from their uncle in Culpeper.
King William County Tax Records show that Thomas Puller died in 1826; but his estate was not settled until 1833, probably because of the age of his children. His son, James, first appeared in the land tax records of Caroline County, in 1837, when 244 acres were transferred to him by Mordecai W. Broaddus. I think that you are correct in deducing that this was the James, who married Mary Ann Broaddus. One year later John B. Puller first appeared in the land tax records of Caroline County. As you probably know, John B. Puller married Elizabeth Ann Sale, the half sister of Lucy Ann Sale, who married Thomas Broaddus Puller. There were so many intermarriages between the Pullers, the Broadduses and the Sales that it is difficult to sort them out.
If you have the opportunity to visit the Library of Virginia, you should examine the collection of Puller Family Tax Records, collected by Mrs. T. M. Puller before 1937, on file there. I believe that it is in the Family Papers Section of the archives...
...As I understand the way the headright system worked in colonial days, land was granted to an individual on the basis of 50 acres for each headright. A headright was an individual whose transportation to the Colony was paid by the person seeking the land grant. John Sharp was granted a tract of 300 acres, in Lancaster County; and one of his headrights (50 acres) was John Puller. According to this system, John Puller was then obligated to work for John Sharp for a period of seven years, as an indentured servant. However, in practice, there were abuses of this system; and it is my understanding that many people would allow their names to be used as headrights in exchange for some other benefit received from the person seeking the land grant. From the number of land grants in his name, it would appear that John Sharp was a speculator. It would not be surprizing to learn that he acquired some of his headrights in a round-about way.
Elizabeth Puller, who immigrated between 1654 and 1663, was probably the wife of John. It was common practice in those days for the husband to immigrate first; and then, later, have his wife brought over. As you probably have noticed the name Puller was an uncommon one. It would appear that there was only one family of that name to immigrate to Virginia, in colonial days.
The "Puller Family Genealogical Notes" by Charles C. Carroll at the Virginia State Archives include the tax records, to which I referred. The actual tax records were collected by Mrs. T.M. Puller of Ellerson, VA; and she sent them to Carroll, who wrote her a letter of thanks...
...My branch of the Pullers bought "Seven Springs", the old Dabney home in Saint David's Parish, King William County, in 1822. Their descendants lived there until the 1940's ; and then sold it. Several years ago, it was purchased by a man from Chicago, who has renovated it and built additions. A descendant of this branch, Reuben T. Puller, married into the Lipscomb Family and inherited "Sweet Hall", another historic home in King William. His descendants lived there until recently.
Ben Sharp's Pullers
The Broaddus Connection(s)
The Broaddus family has been extensively documented. Here is a page listing the descendants of Edward Broaddus, who emigrated from Wales in the late 1600s or early 1700s. My branch of the Pullers is descended from Edward several different ways (and I won't be surprised if I eventually find more):
Ancestry of Sally Broaddus, wife of Thomas Goldwyn/Golden Puller, mother of James Puller and Ann Ellen Puller
Ancestry of Mary Ann Broaddus, wife of James Puller
Ancestry of James Andrews, husband of Ann Ellen Puller, father of Alberta Evelyn Andrews
Some Puller census data
Links to more Puller info
Famous Virginia Pullers
Two of the most famous Pullers of Virginia are Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC, and his son Lewis Jr. My grandmother always referred to the General as a "distant cousin", but I don't think she knew the exact relationship. The book Marine! mentions an extensive genealogy which had been done on Chesty's line, but I have as yet been unable to locate the family tree itself. If I could find the tree, and its connection to mine, this would represent a giant leap in my research. Any information or suggestions are welcome.
A few years ago, I read both Marine! and Fortunate Son (Lewis Jr.'s Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography) — two very different works. Marine! is a factual, if fond, presentation of the life and career of Lt. Gen. Puller. Fortunate Son includes a harrowing, agonizing account of Lewis Jr.'s Vietnam experience as a Marine lieutenant, the devastating injuries he suffered mere weeks after his arrival "in country", and his struggle to recover. One of Lewis Jr.'s dreams was to build schools in Vietnam. After his tragic and untimely death in 1994, a Vietnam veterans' organization named the first such school after him.
Daughters of the American Revolution eligibility
Descendants of Sally Broaddus can now qualify for DAR membership, based on the service of Thomas Broaddus and John W. Broaddus. If you'd like more information please contact me.